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The rights and wrongs of AV

Hix, Simon (2011) The rights and wrongs of AV. London Evening Standard (01 Apr 2011). Website.

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FOR Britons to be able to use their votes to signal their true preferences and for more people to feel they have had an influence on the outcome of a general election, when under our current system many voters have never voted for someone who got elected, is a welcome development. AV can be legitimately criticised either because it will probably lead to more coalitions or because it is a poor substitute for "real PR", but arguing it would be an end to oneperson-one-vote is simply wrong. As with the current system, every vote would be counted equally and only once in determining who ultimately gets elected. For the 25 historians who wrote to The Times this month to claim otherwise is a travesty of their intellectual credentials. Two other elements relating to the referendum should be highlighted. Differential turnout across the country could potentially influence the outcome. If the Yes side sneaks a win on the back of high turnouts in Wales and Scotland, where they will be electing their parliaments on the same day, it would raise some major headaches about legitimacy. Longer term, the outcome of the referendum may influence whether the Coalition presses ahead with plans for an elected Lords: more likely if AV is rejected to provide a sop to the Lib-Dems. An elected Lords with a Lib-Dem contingent holding the balance of power would be a considerable block on a Conservative or Labour majority in the Commons. If AV is approved, there will be pressure on Cameron to resist an elected Lords, a pretty disastrous result from the point of view of British democracy. …

Item Type: Online resource (Website)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2011 The Evening Standard Limited
Divisions: Government
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2015 13:27
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 06:34

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